For three quarters, the Ida Baker Bulldogs did everything it wanted against Cape Coral in their Spring Football Classic matchup at Dave Warkentin Field Friday night.
It took a dramatic stop on a two-point conversion in the final seconds for the Bulldogs to hold on for a 14-13 victory.
Baker led 14-0 and seemed to be cruising when the Seahawks woke up. Trey Daniels, a former defensive player who was 5-for-16 passing up to that point, connected with Rashaan Gaymon on a 45-yard TD pass, just one play after another Gaymon score was called back by a penalty, cutting the margin to 14-7 with 6:53 left in the game.
Ida Baker running back Jeremy Betts (42) sheds a tackle by Cape High’s Kyle Fischel (6) in Friday’s Spring Classic game at Dave Warkentin Field. More
photos are available online at: cu.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com.
The Bulldogs drove down the field and seemed ready to seal the win when Jeremy Betts (16 carries, 99 yards) fumbled inside the Cape Coral 5 with less than three minutes to go, giving the Seahawks new life.
Daniels drove into Bulldogs territory before finding Gaymon (4 catches, 106 yards) again on an underthrown ball for 37 yards with 29 seconds left to trim the lead to 14-13.
With nothing to lose, new Seahawks coach Larry Gary went for two and the win, but Daniels' pass to Kyle Fischel missed the mark.
"It was tough fought, even when we scored it was tough," said Bulldogs coach Brian Conn. "We had long drives and no real big plays. We were able to get our ground attack going and didn't make any mental mistakes on the line."
Despite the loss, Gary was gratified his squad made a game of it late and almost stole the win.
"We made some mental mistakes, but we showed a lot of heart in the last quarter of the game," said Gary. "We have to teach the kids how to win. We don't play to tie, we play to win. It will be a different story once the season starts."
The Bulldogs drew first blood in the second quarter with a nine-play, 54-yard drive, climaxed by an 11-yard scoring run by T.J. Holliman. William Leon kicked the extra point to make it 7-0.
Baker drove inside the Seahawks' 10 at the end of the half, but a penalty sent the Bulldogs backwards and they failed to score.
The Seahawks couldn't get things going on either side of the ball for the first three quarters, managing as many turnovers (3) as first downs (3), while the defense which was missing a couple starters was carved up by the two-pronged running attack of Jeremy Betts and Alex Febles. It took some pressure off freshman starting quarterback Sage Attwood, who added 55 yards on the ground and made no big mistakes.
"We're a real strong team. We have three backs who can hit the line real hard," said Bulldogs running back Brian Johnson. "The line did the job with the main blocks and we tried to punish the defense by sending big backs at them."
Early in the fourth quarter, following Bryan Tirado's fumble recovery, Betts finished a nine-play drive with a three-yard TD run to make it 14-0.
The Bulldogs also scored a touchdown in the junior varsity first quarter, which did not carry over on the scoreboard, on a nine-yard pass from Jesse Crebbe to Caleb Farmer. Dale Schuls recovered a fumble.
Trayvon Clarke had an interception for the Bulldogs while Febles gained 42 yards on seven carries. Daniels was 11-of-24 passing for 175 yards for Cape Coral.
Ida Baker 0 7 0 7 - 14
Cape Coral 0 0 0 13 - 13
IB - TJ Holliman 11 run (William Leon kick)
IB - Jeremy Betts 3 run (Leon kick)
CC - Rashaan Gaymon 45 pass from Trey Daniels (Jonathan Ramirez kick)
CC - Gaymon 37 pass from Daniels (pass failed)